I have been thinking about abortion for a while now. About the kind of hopelessness and emotional distress a person has to be in to go through with it. A kind of necessary hurry. Even then, I got to thinking about the trauma one goes through when and if the process is successful. This post and a few more to come in June are not about criticism towards people who abort. Or shaming people who abort or think about it. This post and the next of the series are about the other option. Stories of motherhood. Glimpses in to the struggles and the joys. Stories of hope. Stories of options. Stories that I hope will prevent the other stories we hear about the girl who can’t conceive because of a procedure gone wrong. The one about the lass who is in depression, the other one about the girl next door who was 3 months in but after a while there is no evidence and the one about an attempt gone wrong and neither of the two came out of it.
Israel David is rays of sunshine and the thunder in a storm. This one is always in a hurry to grow up. He wants to walk, talk, feed himself and bath himself before he even can. He also likes to break and throw things that are breakable and throw able. He shares his food with the floor, always. Maybe because he will eat anything he picks from the floor or anywhere for that matter. He just throws it in his mouth. Dare you force him to sit while he is eating. Not our Israel, he likes to walk and roam around the room as you feed him. If he gets hold of the bowl with the food, he will win by pouring libation to his beloved floor. Israel bullies everyone, including his mother. He is strong willed and opinionated. He knows what he wants and he will get what he wants. He has a thing for water. He throws everything he finds in water around the house. If you can’t find anything important like the T.V remote, try the water tank or the water pail in the bathroom. Israel is about 14 months now. Right now, I cannot remember what it was like without him. He basically is the centre of my family’s world. He is all we talk about. When I call home, one way or another the conversation has to steer to the kid. We will be talking about how the weather back home is terrorizing everyone and the next minute it will be about how Israel snuck out the house to the neighbour’s house and my sister (the dotting mom) almost called for a search party.
My sister is an amazing mother to the child, she is prolly the only one who fully understands Israel and gives him the affection and attention he craves because God knows I don’t understand him sometimes and the other times I run out of patience. Having a baby around the house kind of sneaks up on you. The nights and the mornings are different. Some nights are calm and smooth, other nights the little man will be convinced that it is morning at 4 am and he will wake up, his mother will have to wake up and feed him and play pretend with him until he dozes off only to wake up two hours later. Other nights he will not sleep until 11 pm, way past his bedtime. He is sleepy but he fights it. So he cries, God knows why he cries instead of sleeping. He cries and throws a mighty tantrum until he finally lets go and sleeps. The mornings are filled with his baby-talk and his laughter. That kid has the sweetest laugh ever. The kind that just catches you by surprise and you tickle him so he does the laugh thing again. Some mornings are filled with a moody Israel. Who wants to be around his mother and his mother alone. She can’t even look the other direction without him bawling and begging for that attention back. Those mornings are work for my sister.
I would say the most fulfilling thing about having Israel around is watching him grow and concur the milestones at every stage. It took a while for him to walk without holding on to things. He was so scared it was funny. He would get to the middle of the room and sit down because he did not think he could walk the full mile without being held by the hand. When he finally learnt how to walk properly without looking like a penguin we almost threw a party in that house. When he got to the speaking stage, sometimes I think we just heard things he prolly did not say because we really anticipated his first words. He did learn how to say mom but he doesn’t really say mom he says mama. That is his go to word, his attention seeking word.
*my sister holding another child*
Israel: Mama, mama, mama, mama
*my sister looking away for two seconds*
Israel: mama, mama, mama,
*my sister knitting*
Israel: Maaama, maaama
Not everyone is privileged enough to have supportive parents or to have parents at all in the whole process. We (my sister and I) however didn’t know how our folks would react. You just really have to put it out there and brace for the reaction. Sometimes you will get the support, other times the support will be just an idea at the back of your head. Even then, plough through. The joys of raising a child will come. Not to say it will be easy. We all know it will be hard before it gets better. It will be heart wrenching, it will be cold, it will be a struggle before it gets warm but choose life. Jesus gives grace and strength. When it feels or seems hard, we have a friend closer than a brother who is able to comfort us, provide for us and give us peace. Do choose life.
This other option, of keeping the baby is not a walk in the park especially if you don’t have a support system but watching the baby grow, learn and call you mama beats any other feeling in the world. It is a whole euphoria on its own. My sister taught me that motherhood is really just another one of things you figure out on your own terms. Everyone will have opinions about the best way to do it. Everyone will try to fit you inside a box but really at the end of the day even when no is clapping for you, you are still just a good mom. What really defines a mom is the love they have for their kids. Not the control they have over their child’s behavior or volume. It is that love, for who they are. Exactly the way they are and it can never fit inside a stupid box.